Overexertion is a type of acute injury that can occur when you push yourself too hard physically. The National Safety Council states that overexertion was the leading cause of nonfatal work injuries until 2020, when it became the second-most common cause.
Overexertion can affect different parts of your body. Possible symptoms include pain, fatigue and difficulty breathing. Knowing what causes overexertion may help you to avoid it.
1. Prolonged activity
According to Healthline, overexertion can occur if you push yourself too long without giving your body a chance to recover. You may be able to avoid overexertion by taking frequent breaks.
2. Sudden body movement
A sudden movement, such as bending, twisting, pulling or reaching, can push your body beyond its usual limits, resulting in overexertion.
3. Improper technique
Ergonomics is the study and practice of performing work as safely and effectively as possible. Failure to observe ergonomics while you are working is not only inefficient but can lead to overexertion injury.
For example, when lifting a heavy object, it is more ergonomic to squat down to get a hold of it and then allow your legs to take on most of the responsibility for lifting. It is very common for people to overexert themselves by bending over to pick up and lift a heavy object. This can injure your back by putting more pressure on it than it is able to handle.
Overexertion refers to an injury to your body that occurs suddenly. The same causes can result in repetitive use injuries that occur gradually over time.